Stable phenotypes, fluid genotypes: how stochasticity impacts network evolution and speciation

James ME, O'Brien NLV and Bukkuri A



A longstanding goal of evolutionary biology is to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype. Schiffman and Ralph use mathematical modeling to theoretically examine how the genetic network underlying a conserved phenotype can change over time. They found that when phenotypically identical populations with different gene network configurations interbreed, hybrid incompatibilities can arise. These results suggest that neutral processes could play a major role in driving speciation.